The purpose of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is to ensure a level playing field and foster equal opportunity for firms owned and operated by disadvantaged individuals on USDOT-assisted contracts and procurements.
The primary functions of the DBE unit include:
- Setting Condition of Award (COA) or Voluntary goals on applicable projects.
- Assisting the Construction Office in the administration of project advertising and awards as it relates to DBE participation.
- Monitoring DBE participation levels on contracts.
- Conducting Commercially Useful Function (CUF) reviews of DBEs on WSDOT federal-aid funded contracts.
- Providing assistance in resolving DBE compliance disputes and complaints.
- Providing program guidance to Regional EEO Officers and Project Engineers.
- Providing program training for WSDOT personnel, local agencies, contractors, and other interested parties.
- Monitoring the administration of consultant contracts as they relate to DBE participation.
- Assisting in the management of certification and supportive services contracts and in conducting program management reviews.
For more information regarding DBE Certification, please refer to: http://www.omwbe.wa.gov.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Support Services Program
The federally-funded Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Support Services Program was put in place to help DBEs wishing to work on WSDOT highway projects. Support services are available only to DBEs who are certified in the highway construction industry to include: construction companies, consultants, manufacturers and regular dealers.
This program is intended to increase participation of highway-related DBEs who have had limited success in obtaining work on WSDOT projects by providing a combination of training, techniques and tools necessary for operating a successful small business.
Businesses considering participating in the Program are encouraged to contact the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) as representatives are available to provide personalized assistance to those wishing to begin the process. Moreover, assistance is provided by OEO throughout the life of the Program.
In order to qualify for entry into the Program the following conditions must be met:
• The company must first hold DBE certification as granted by the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE).
• The DBE must then submit a business plan to OEO for review.
• Services may be provided on a case-by-case basis to those not enrolled.
If accepted, the DBE will receive access to consultant services offering assistance in areas such as: accounting, bid preparation, IT support, post-bid award, marketing, payroll, scheduling and workflow management with additional expertise added as required by demand.
DBE Advisory Group
DBE Advisory Group has been formed by WSDOT on July 1, 2011. This group is comprised of community and trade based organizations, representing both prime contractors, consultants, subcontractors and sub-consultants (DBE and non-DBE). Together the members have a broad perspective and provide meaningful insight into the operation of the DBE Program. This group provides WSDOT with direct market insight into how the DBE Program is affecting the citizens and more specifically contractors and consultants of Washington State. The guidance provided by this group is taken into consideration as new operating processes and procedures are developed and implemented. WSDOT Office of Equal Opportunity is thankful for the time and consideration each of the members takes into increasing the successfulness of WSDOT’s DBE Program. See the DBE Advisory Group roster (pdf 91 kb).
Northwest Small Business Transportation Resource Center. Northwest Small Business Transportation Resource Center (NW SBTRC) is a regional office of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Small Business . The NW SBTRC executes the U.S. DOT’s small business assistance programs throughout the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The goal of the NW SBTRC is to increase the ability of small businesses to compete for and enter into transportation-related contracts at the local, state and federal levels throughout the region.
Headquartered in Seattle, the NW SBTRC assists small and disadvantaged businesses in the region by providing procurement, technical, financial and bonding assistance. For more information, please visit: http://www.dot.gov/osdbu/nw-sbtrc.
Procurement and Technical Assistance Centers. The Washington State Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) works to give businesses the opportunity to thrive in the government-contracting marketplace. Washington PTAC’s mission is to increase the number of government contracts awarded to Washington firms so that those firms can grow. They provide no cost, confidential, one-on-one technical assistance in all aspects of selling to federal, state, and local governments. PTAC advises businesses on bid reviews, marketing assistance, contract performance, small business designations, and more. PTAC hosts procurement training classes and seminars, and helps businesses register with the correct databases in order to compete for government contracts.
With the help of PTAC, Washington State companies have been awarded more than $440 million in government contracts since 2009.
With nine locations across Washington State, Washington PTAC works to help companies succeed. They guide companies through the entire process of applying for and fulfilling government contracts, from helping you determine what kind of products and services government needs, to registration, bidding and more. Their services include:
- Interpretations of Solicitations. PTAC will help you understand government contracting opportunities by reviewing contract clauses, terms, definitions and requirements. They aim to ensure your interactions with bid target agencies are correct, complete and powerful.
- Registrations and Certifications. PTAC counselors can help you obtain the necessary certifications and registrations that may be required to contract with various government agencies and be more competitive in the government marketplace. These include, but are not limited to: 8(a), HUBZone, small disadvantaged, veteran-owned, women-owned and minority-owned.
- Training and Seminars. PTAC hosts several training sessions and seminars throughout the year to provide the practical, hands-on information you need to do business with the government. Please see their Events & Workshops page for a current schedule.
- Specifications, Standards and Drawings. PTAC counselors can help you locate the necessary documents to appropriately respond to contractor solicitation requests.
- Marketing Assistance. PTAC works with you to determine the key markets for your products and services, and how to best access those markets.
- Post Award Assistance. PTAC provides assistance with post-award functions tied to contract performance, such as: requirements for production, quality systems, accounting systems, transportation, packaging, subcontracting, property considerations and government invoicing systems like Wide Area Work Flow.